(Almost) every Saturday we review all Kickstarter campaigns in the "Games" category ending in the next week. We do a quick write up on anything we find notable here. This is written from the perspective of people looking to buy games and game accessories that offer interesting mechanics or ideas. We prefer heavy strategy games, RPG Games, miniature-heavy games, and games with real-time mechanics as opposed to party games, children's games, or very light strategy games.
Sometimes you have to put your money where your mouth is. These are the campaigns we backed in this batch.
Roll Player is one of our favorite games, so backing Lock Up, which is set in the same universe, was a no-brainer. But take a look at the video below, this game captivating. You will be controlling a faction in a fantasy prison: Bugbears, Kobolds, etc. Your goal is to become the most dominant crew in the lockup (surprisingly, it’s not to escape), you do this via worker placement actions, while avoiding attracting too much attention from the guards. This game looks like Roll Player because it has the same artist and designer, let’s hope it plays as well as that does, too!
This is an interesting dice and card game. It’s semi-cooperative, you all must survive Until Daylight by scavenging and working together to fight off enemies. You also have secret objectives, and there is a real-time component involved. Add the sweet indie-comics style art, and I’m in to give this a try!
This is the latest from designer Mike Gnade and publisher Rock Manor, both best known for the successful Maximum Apocalypse Kickstarter. We weren’t huge fans of Maximum Apocalypse, but this looks a lot more up our alley. This gamifies the well known trope, camp “resting” while travelling in the wilderness.
Your party is presented with a series of monstrous “combat puzzles” that they must solve together to progress, defending their campsite to the end boss. Players can decide to rest a character during a round, which allows them to regain a spent ability. It would be really interesting to see if this could be modified to better gamify resting in a hostile wilderness in a traditional fantasy RPG.
Inhuman Conditions may very well be the first “party game” for two players, but that’s not what’s interesting here. The game sets up the scenario posited in the Blade Runner movies where a certain image or phrase of words can weaken a robot’s ability to replicate humans. One player is the interrogator and must make a determination of what their opponent is, while the other player holds a hidden identity: Human, Robot, or Violent Robot. Interrogators win by quickly identifying the type, while the Suspect wins by successfully playing their roles without making mistakes. This is by the creators of Secret Hitler (7.6 BGG).
This is the spiritual successor to the 2012 game Keyflower (7.9 BGG). In Key Flow, you are competing against other players to develop the best village. The gameplay looks similar to Oh My Goods, but with nicer art and more components. It also integrates some card drafting as you’ll be picking the cards you have access to. It looks like a nice game, but is very pricey for a small box game: over $50.
This is an interesting looking road combat card game. It has nice art and what look like nice components. The base game is only about $27, but there are some red flags here which prevented me from backing. The backing tiers are super-confusing and it’s not very clear what you get if you don’t get the Imperator pledge (which is about $38) because different stretch goals apply to different levels. Additionally, it’s subtly annoying that their Euro to Dollar conversions are quite a bit off in the description. I’ll wait on this one.
This is the latest from Jason Tagmire and Button Shy Games. If you are unfamiliar with their games, they make exclusively 18-card games that fit in little “Wallet” packaging. We did our own (unpublished) wallet games which are available on our website under the games header above. The first Twin Stars must have done well for them, but it only has a 6.84 on BGG. In this game you draw an adventure and two random characters and you must accomplish all the objects on the adventure to win. Unlike most of the other games in the series, it does require dice and tokens to track your progress.
I was surprised to see that Steam Pirates might not hit its goal with 6 days left. It’s only found 61 backers to buy in, but I don’t see anything too bad in this game. Looking closer, the red flag is that the publisher Golden Egg games has unfortunately lost a lot of reputation from late delivers on their games (you can find this feedback by searching BGG.) It’s too bad, because the gameplay here looks really interesting, and I’d love to try it. There’s some drama in the comments if you are interested.
Punkapocalyptic is a great word, but the faction, “Mutards” less so. This is their third Kickstarter, this one focusing on a starter set that provides base factions so you can get to playing right after you assemble the minis.
Don’t let the understated nature of this campaign throw you, this is a super-ambitious and original tabletop RPG. In Karamojo you’ll be playing a hunter seeking out dangerous mythical (and not so mythical) beasts across the world. The art is fantastic, with a mix of new material and sourced historical paintings.
This is more akin to a miniatures game than a traditional RPG, but instead of resolving combat with miniatures and dice, you use a unique card system to determine the outcomes of hunts. Your overall goal is to get rich which in turn allows you to fund more expeditions.
Things From the Flood is the sequel to the popular indie RPG Tales From the Loop, and it is everywhere right now, so it’s doubtful you missed this one. But if you did, it looks amazing, having aged the kid archetypes in the last one to teenagers, and there’s only 72 hours left!
This is the second Adventure Kit from Absolute Tabletop. The unique feature here is that you get everything you need to build your own adventure in a particular setting. It includes features, places to go, maps, NPCs, and some modular add-ons to help build a unique adventure without hand-holding your way through the campaign like a traditional module. To me, this looks very reminiscent of the old 2nd and 3rd addition D&D sourcebooks which provided similar levels of detail, adventure hooks, and maps which were handy when a party detoured through a particular region of Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms.
This is some pretty nice hexagonal 3D-printed terrain. The campaign is just for the .STLs, but this would be great for making custom board game tiles and outdoor terrain for miniatures battling. The hexagons have a magnet slot which will mean nice “clicking” together of the pieces. It doesn’t have a grid option for standard D&D play.
I use a boardgametables.com board game table, and I absolutely love it. It’s the 6’ x 4’ Titan for D&D and Miniatures gaming, and really the only drawback is the price. The Jasper is the second “economical” offering from Board Game Tables.com… Only a 1/2 foot on each side shorter than a Titan, this will only run you only $900 with the topper. This is the cheapest option available for a quality table (by far!)
Bee Boxes are nice little organizers that re more modular and designed to fit a variety of board games. I think this is a really fantastic idea, it’s not any cheaper than a regular organizer, but if you get sick of the game, you can move your Bee Boxes to a game your playing more often.
I currently use Basius bases to make Green Stuff bases for my miniatures. I can’t recommend them enough. There’s not much more to say, other than if you need bases for miniatures, you should buy into this system, its great. This Kickstarter is for mega pieces which means more variation on your bases (and the potential for big big bases (but you need to have lots of Green Stuff.
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*None of the campaigns mentioned here are sponsored or influenced via payment, prize or other means. If we know or have a connection to someone running the campaign, we will mention it in the campaign notes. If there is a campaign you think should be mentioned here, please e-mail us and tell us what makes it special and we'll review!